State Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, the committee’s chairman, said the hearings could address a variety of gun-related issues, including expanding the waiting period to buy a firearm, currently three days.
Malloy and another committee member, state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, unsuccessfully pushed to lengthen that waiting period during the 2016 legislative session. They say that change would give authorities more time to investigate potential red flags found in FBI background checks.
Malloy said he expects to hear plenty from both sides – 2nd Amendment advocates as well as gun-violence victims. Any legislation that can pass the GOP-controlled Legislature must balance the right of responsible residents to own guns and the protection of society from the dangerous and mentally unstable, he said.
“We are scheduling hearings because it is a pressing issue in our society,” Malloy said. “We have a committee together that we think will be receptive of the issues of fellow South Carolinians.”